Leith Toy Hospital staff switch to making scrubs for NHS workers

They are working with a national campaign.

Friday, 1st May 2020, 7:30 am
Updated Friday, 1st May 2020, 5:27 pm

The Leith Toy Hospital in Constitution Street has joined the national effort to provide NHS workers with vital PPE.

Staff at the shop have turned their sewing expertise and equipment to making scrubs for NHS staff for nationwide campaign ‘For the Love of Scrubs’.

“Like so many others up and down the country, we have been trying to think of ways we

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could help in this crisis,” said Director Mari Jones.

“We’re not doctors and nurses, we’re not care workers, but we started hearing about there being shortages of protective equipment for NHS workers, and - we can sew!”

She added: “We came across a website called ‘for the love of scrubs’ who are recruiting sewers to make scrubs for NHS Scotland staff.

“We wanted to help out, and so we’ve turned our sewing machines to the task”.

For the Love of Scrubs was set up by Mirka and Maja Jankowska of Mirka Bridal Couture in Kircaldy when they realised that the NHS is facing a shortage of scrubs.

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The pair were joined by Holly Baxter-Weir of Fabric Bazaar and Clare Boyle of The Kind Earth Cro-Op, and together the group has been contacting hospitals, GPs and other medical centres around Scotland to assess where the need is greatest for home-made scrubs.

They have been contacted by thousands of volunteers, and set up a fundraiser online so that those unable to help making scrubs can donate funds to purchase fabric, elastic, thread and other sewing supplies.

The Go Fund Me page has so far reached £42,500.

The initiative has so far delivered over 2,000 sets of scrubs, sewed by 300 machinists who are working hard to fulfil over 9,000 requests. Each set of scrubs requires around 2.5 metres of material, and the group put in an initial order of 8,000m.

“We are just trying to take the weight of the NHS and the hospitals, so anyone who wants to help, it would be great if they could get in touch with us, rather than the hospitals directly,” said co-organiser Clare Boyle.

The Leith Toy Hospital has also been trying to raise local childrens’ spirits by placing teddy bears in the shop window for children to look out for on their daily walks, inspired by the idea of a ‘teddy bear hunt’ which has taken hold worldwide, with people putting bears in the window for children to spot on their walks for exercise.

The window features a different selection of teddy bears each day, as well as toys dressed up as doctors and nurses.

Some children have also been able to find teddy bears in plant pots of the steps of the Toy Hospital, with labels around their necks reading ‘I’m looking for a loving new home’.

Staff at the shop said they wanted to bring some cheer to children and families in the local area during the lockdown period.

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